Tony Romo calls final Valley Ranch practice 'nostalgic'

Tony Romo with then-rookie Dez Bryant at Valley Ranch in 2010. AP Photo/LM Otero

IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett opened his team meeting Thursday with a history lesson for his Dallas Cowboys players on Valley Ranch, their practice facility home since 1985. The day ended with Garrett gathering the players, alumni and staff on the field for one final team picture.

The Cowboys held their final practice at Valley Ranch on Thursday. When they return from training camp in Oxnard, California, in August, they will call The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, home.

“It was a little bit of a nostalgic day,” said quarterback Tony Romo, who first walked into Valley Ranch in 2003. “We started off actually looking at a little Cowboys practice tape from 20 or 25 years ago. There weren’t too many houses out back and a lot of fields. You just remember how many great players and practices, how many they’ve had through the years here, the great coaches and people who walk these halls. We’re going to miss it. It’s been a special place to me, obviously throughout my career.”

On the video, the players wore gray shorts. Right tackle Doug Free noticed and had the offensive players wear gray shorts to Thursday’s practice.

“They were like way up here,” wide receiver Cole Beasley said, recalling the short shorts prevalent back then. “They were real short. I’m real small so they don’t fit me like that but that’s what it was for, kind of a remembrance of the old days. … It might stick around because I felt a lot better in these gray shorts. There so much lighter than the other ones.”

After practice, players spoke with some of the alumni on hand, including Michael Irvin, Daryl Johnston, Chad Hennings, Nate Newton, John Gesek, Russell Maryland, Tony Casillas, Miles Austin and Andre Gurode.

“It’s kind of cool being here the last day ever at Valley Ranch,” right guard Zack Martin.